Despite a very bullish rating from the Motley Fool CAPS community with 64 outperform ratings from a total of 67 players, the stock of vaccine developer Emergent BioSolutions
Two weeks ago, Emergent reported solid revenue growth for its first quarter to a level of $26.4 million, from $12.2 million in the year-ago period. Results were driven by a 125% increase, to a total of 1.1 million doses of the anthrax vaccine BioThrax delivered to the government for both the strategic national stockpile (90% of total) and the immunization of military personnel (10% of total). The company also reported a narrower net loss of $2.7 million, down from $4.6 million in the year-ago period.
Other recent activities by the company include the receipt of fast-track designation by the FDA for BioThrax in post-exposure anthrax treatment, licensing of a compound to aid in the development of improved anthrax vaccines, filing an investigational new drug application for a phase 1 trial of an anthrax immune globulin treatment, and beginning a phase 2 trial of an experimental typhoid vaccine. Other vaccines in development include ones for hepatitis B, group B strep, meningitis B, and chlamydia.
Emergent has a market cap of just $310 million. I think that's an attractive value for the company, as it has guided for $150 million in revenue this year, which should be sufficient to make the company profitable. Emergent also has a strong balance sheet, with more than $67 million in cash and investments. Emergent's results will be driven in the near term by continued sales of the anthrax vaccine to the government, which are expected to remain strong. The company also has a promising pipeline of vaccine candidates for future development, which would diversify its portfolio.
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Fool contributor Mike Havrilla, R.Ph., B.S., Pharm.D., is a Rite Aid pharmacist who lives, writes, works, and enjoys running on the streets and trails in the small Pennsylvania town of Portage. He invites your comments and feedback. Mike does not have a position in any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.